Students are demanding end of "slave education" provided by successive military regimes since 1963 and the establishment of 'Education for Democracy".
Among the 11-point demands are academic freedom, university autonomy, the right to form associations by students and faculty, inclusive education that respect minority cultures, languages and histories, the raise for educational spending vis-a-vis military spending, guarantee of amnesty for students who initiated the campaign for democractic education and so on.
The students gave Nwa Thein Sein regime 2-months to respond to their demands. The authorities completely ignored the students' demands and stonewalled any efforts to get the authoritarian Education bill in the "parliament". Students from Mandalay decided to launch a long national march to Rangoon after 20 Jan - their deadline for 2 months.
Student march has enjoyed tremendous popular support.
Myanmar Peace Center, the government's main proxy for dealing with conflicts, got involved initially to resolve the growing conflict between the regime and the students.
After having signed the written agreement with the students to continue the negotiations for a peaceful settlement, Minister Aung Min in charge of negotiations was ordered to stop the negotiations. MPC and Aung Min were thoroughly humiliated.
Now the matter is being taken over by the real decision makers and executioners.
Home Minister Lt-Gen Ko Ko, accused of having committed war crimes in minority area, has issued a threat officially to the student protesters to disperse.
Information Minister ex-Colonel Ye Htut have been ordered to start airing justificatory spins for immient use of violence and force against the student marchers - who on their part show no signs of backing down.
What the regime is doing is what they have done over the past 53 years: create pretext and justification for bloody crackdown of any protests/popular challenge to the military rule.